hundreds of video, data and voice channels over extended distances, with coaxial
cable, which requires a more extensive signal amplification in order to obtain
the desired transmission levels for delivering channels. In most systems, we
connect fiber optic cable to individual nodes serving an average of 500 homes or
commercial buildings. We believe that this network design provides high capacity
and superior signal quality, and will enable us to provide the newest forms of
telecommunications services to our customers. The primary advantages of HFC
architecture over traditional coaxial cable networks include:
- increased channel capacity of cable systems;
- reduced number of amplifiers, which are devices to compensate for signal
loss caused by coaxial cable, needed to deliver signals from the headend
to the home, resulting in improved signal quality and reliability;
- reduced number of homes that need to be connected to an individual node,
improving the capacity of the network to provide high-speed Internet
access and reducing the number of households affected by disruptions in
the network; and
- sufficient dedicated bandwidth for two-way services, which avoids reverse
signal interference problems that can otherwise occur when you have
two-way communication capability.
The HFC architecture will enable us to offer new and enhanced services,
- additional channels and tiers;
- expanded pay-per-view options;
- high-speed Internet access;
- wide area networks, which permit a network of computers to be connected
together beyond an area;
- point-to-point data services, which can switch data links from one point
to another; and
- digital advertising insertion, which is the insertion of local, regional
and national programming.
The upgrades will facilitate our new services in two primary ways:
- Greater bandwidth allows us to send more information through our systems.
This provides us with the capacity to provide new services in addition to
our current services. As a result, we will be able to roll out digital
cable programming in addition to existing analog channels offered to
customers who do not wish to subscribe to a package of digital services.
- Enhanced design configured for two-way communication with the customer
allows us to provide cable Internet services without telephone support
and other interactive services, such as an interactive program guide,
impulse pay-per-view, video-on-demand and Wink, that cannot be offered
without upgrading the bandwidth capacity of our systems.